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Greetings Everyone,

We are anchored in the Burnett River at Bundaberg awaiting some supplies — HF radios, solar panels and regulators, etc and the weather. We had ideal conditions sailing up the coast from Iluka with 10-15 knot south west winds. We left Iluka Wednesday afternoon and managed to keep ahead of the bad weather and arrived at Wide Bay Bar at mid tide enabling us to cross the bar and take the tide all the way up the Great Sandy Straits, under a full moon, to Kingfisher where we anchored for a night’s rest then on to Bundaberg the next morning, arriving there at 9 pm Saturday night.

It has been great to catch up with old friends here. One couple have loaned us a car which makes provisioning so much easier.

We hope to leave Bundaberg sometime next week. Please pray for the right timing and an eight day weather window to get us safely to the Louisiades.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

In case your are concerned for us sailing through these catastrophic weather patterns — on the worst day we were holed up behind a mangrove island (Turkey Island) in the Great Sandy Straits. While Bundaberg got one of its strongest winds ever and it blew like crazy on the other side of Fraser Island, we watched a lovely sunset painting the sky gorgeous colours with a clear reflection in the still water (wind speed 5 knots) except where an occasional turtle chose to raise its head.

We left Iluka with a 15 knott westerly on Tuesday 31st and decided to keep going past Southport to Wide Bay Bar before the weather broke. The wind turned fickle, gusting to 20 knotts then dying to next to nothing and going around the clock so that we spent day and night doing sail changes. We reached Wide Bay bar an hour before dark just before hight tide (perfect time to cross it). The next day we went through the Sandy Straits and tucked in behind the mangrove for the forecast bad weather.

The weather was so lovely we found it hard to believe the forecast of gale force winds. We waited a day there and then continued through the Straits to Big Woody Island where we started getting strong wind on the nose so decided to anchor behind that island for the night. Not a nice night as it rolled a lot. Yesterday afternoon the wind and swell dropped and we left Big Woody and motor-sailed (wind very fine on) straight to Bundaberg and anchored here at 3.40am this morning.

Thankyou for your prayers for us. We do feel we were protected with so much devastation around us. Also, Phil received a good report from his operation — no problems at all.

We have some things to do in Bundaberg and hope to clear customs by the 16th June.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Greetings Everyone,

Instead of enjoying some peace and quiet and the beauty of Bundaberg we have been HECTICLY packing! We’ve managed to stow 47 cartons, numerous loose articles, a ute load of sails and ropes and the hard dinghy on an already full boat. We are into the sales and have sold an outboard motor, an MPS sail, 40 metres of rope and a number of jerry cans to another yachtie at the marina and quite surprisingly a number of nautical odds and ends at the local Tender Centre. More will go on e-bay and the overflow will be stored for eternity (do I hear some sarcasm, Phil) in the shed at Iluka.

Meanwhile, I have a brand new built in fridge that goes.

Phil’s eye seems to be going well. He has multi-focal glasses and is trying to adjust to them. He has to go back to the Eye Hospital in Sydney at the end of November for a check-up. I’m catching a lift down to the Central Coast for my 50 year school reunion on the 14th November so Max Gardiner, a keen-to-sail Gideon friend is sailing with Phil to Iluka.

The yacht is already full of gear to take to the Louisiades next year.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

From the Administrator – sorry for the delay, just got back from Fiji (second honeymoon and retirment celebration).

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Greetings Everyone,

Back in Bundaberg!!  We had a dramatic arrival at 7.30am on Monday.  As we approached the dredged channel into the Burnett River with 25 knots of wind and a tide with us and a scrap of jib flying, Phil went to start the engine and NOTHING!  All the way down the channel he tried different ways to activate it to no avail.  We needed to tie up at the quarantine wharf at the Port Marina.  Phil said, “Let’s try it under sail.”  I said, “No way!  We won’t be able to stop with this wind and tide.”  But the captain had his way and managed to luff and fill and finally furl the headsail as we came alongside with a handy yachtie on the dock helping to secure our lines.  All our friends who are sailing savvy are most IMPRESSED.

I was just grateful to be HOME, catching up with friends, eating fresh fruit and veges and with two feet on solid ground.  By the way, the engine problem was a faulty battery switch which is now fixed by the great FIX-IT-ALL CAPTAIN.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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Maranatha and her hardy crew made landfall in Australia at 7.30am this morning, Thursday 8th October, 2015.

It should be noted that incredibly good seamanship was demonstrated by the crew to come alongside the customs wharf at Bundaberg. The engine failed to start (low battery and in need of a fuel bleed) and they sailed up the wharf. Sounds easy? Anyone who knows how to sail will appreciate what it means when the incoming tide is behind them and also a strong 20 to 25 knot wind is also behind them, and,  you can’t tack or gybe on the Burnett River. How they pulled 15 tonnes up on the jetty, with all that pushing them, is beyond me, but they did it without bending anything. Brilliant seamanship if you ask me.

Since leaving Turkey with the new Maranatha, they have sailed about 18 000 miles.

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Greetings Everyone,

Please Pray. We are still facing constant frustration over our ongoing insurance claim. It’s been an emotional roller-coaster for us. The marina has submitted impossibly high claims, topping $175,000 for the repairs. The insurance company is not happy with that but not wanting to pay us out either and trying to reduce the costs on both fronts. We were told unofficially two weeks ago that it had been written off so we started looking for alternatives, then yesterday that there has been no decision.

We are torn between wanting Maranatha repaired and back in the water — the damage though expensive is not that bad and should be repaired — or alternatively buying an Australian registered boat in Turkey (the wife died and the husband wants to sell) and sail it home via the Panama and the Pacific. It is almost identical to Maranatha and fitted out exactly as we would need for our work and we would be happy to go that way. A new “problem” is that if we buy it overseas, even though it is an Australian boat we have to pay about 15% impost duty when we arrive. All we want is a final outcome, a just settlement, a good boat which meets our ministry needs and God’s direction on which way to go.

Keep praying.

God bless,

Pam and Phil

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